12th October 1914

Lieutenant Alexander Nigel Trotter, 3rd (Reserve) Battalion, The Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment) died of wounds in France on 12th October 1914, less than a month after his twentieth birthday.

Nigel, as he was known, was born in London on 17th September 1894 to parents Alexander Pelham Trotter and his wife Alys Fane Trotter (née Keatinge). Nigel had an older sister, Gundred Eleanor Trotter (1889-1975), known as “Gunda”, who was also born in London. Nigel’s local connection with the Solihull area is that he was educated at Packwood Haugh Preparatory School. Referred to now as “The First Packwood”, the school occupied a site in Glasshouse Lane, Hockley Heath from 1892 until 1940, when the school moved to “The Second Packwood” in Ruyton-XI-Towns near Shrewsbury, where it remains today. The original building in Glasshouse Lane has now been turned into 12 apartments, known as Fetherston Grange.

Postcard of changing rooms at Packwood Haugh
Changing Rooms at Packwood Haugh School c. 1920

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6th October 1914

Private Joseph Lenten Austin, a regular soldier who had served through the Boer War 1899-1902, died on 6th October 1914 whilst serving with the 3rd Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment. He was born in Stratford-upon-Avon and lived in Tanworth-in-Arden.

He appears on the 1881 census, aged four, living with his parents, Joseph and Ursula, at the Cross Keys public house, Ely Street, Stratford, although his middle name appears to have been written down as Denton, rather than Lenton (or Lenten). His father, Joseph, is listed as the inn keeper. By 1891, the family had moved to Haselor, with Joseph (senior) now working as a gamekeeper, and 14-year-old-Joseph (junior) listed as gamekeeper’s assistant.

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